Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Filmmaking Lessons from TIE Conference

At the Technology In Education Conference keynote presentation this morning, Dr. Jason Ohler discussed the value of incorporating digital storytelling in the classroom. The Adams 14 Global Learners are no strangers to the Adams 14 Film Fest and our shameless promotion of digital multimedia use in the 21st Century classroom.
Four things I take away from Dr. Ohler's keynote today:
1. You must start with a good storyteller, not a good computer technician. Every child can learn both of these skill sets, but the story is the most critical element of creating a good product. Anyone can learn the technical skills, and no amount of technical ability or tricks will make a terrible story any better.
2. The suggestion that a fourth "R" (remember Reading, 'Riting, 'Rithmetic as the three R's?) is now a critical skill for success in the digital age: aRt. Students who have access to a well-balanced education that incorporates art will be successful in channeling their right brain in creating digital media for the world (see "Art Becomes the Next R"). Adams 14 celebrates the arts in our schools, and we continue to promote and expand these programs. Our new high school/community college (yes, it's happening) will offer students a Fine and Performing Arts academy.
3. The third lesson, and the most technical, is that you can do chroma key green screen work in Movie Maker. Just out of curiosity I searched for tips for this during Dr. Ohler's presentation, and here is the result. I challenge teachers who have interest in digital filmmaking in the classroom to incorporate this technique into your productions and post your results online.
4. And finally, Dr. Ohler suggests that the best way to teach students to avoid copyright infringement is to encourage them to create their own artwork. We have great examples of this with the Adams 14 Film Fest - claymation, legomation, paint animation, etc. With the ability to do green screen work in Movie Maker, students may now tell their stories oncamera with their own original artwork behind them. Great stuff!

Your ideas of incorporating these thoughts into your classroom?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Math technology

I just took a technology class for math teachers up at UNC and learned about some new software that I thought was pretty cool.

Fathom software has some great statistics and algebra capabilities. We did some activities analyzing data. If you find a web site with data on it that you want to analyze, you can grab the icon next to the web address in your browser and drop it into an open fathom worksheet and the data will be transferred right into your worksheet. This ability is pretty time saving when you want to analyze a bunch of data. There is a free instructor's evaluation copy online at the link below.

The other software that I thought was useful was GeoGebra. This one is completely free and you can download it at the link below. This has many of the same abilities as Geometer's Sketchpad but it is free. This was cool to me because students don't have sketchpad at home and this software system seems a little easier to use.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Hi All~
I hope you are enjoying your summer.
I would like to create a web page for my classroom but can't figure out how to start it. Can anyone help????


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

the intelligence of crows....by Joshua Klein (Ted talks)


Hi all. This is a link to a thought provoking video clip about the intelligence of crows. Basically, it looks at how crows have adapted to living near humans. I am planning to use it in biology class to elicit discussions about evolution which is a central theme in AP and IB biology. However, at another level it is an analogy of how we (especially me) can and need to adapt to the changing classroom climate and student population. Hope you enjoy it. ....peace, Doug....

Monday, June 9, 2008

Global Learner Training and Other Thoughts

I absolutely agree with the other global learners who posted that this was an excellent training. I feel like I have had my eyes open to many things. For example, I had heard the term "skype" before but now I hear it everywhere and actually know what it means. Oprah used skype today to talk to a doctor on her show.

Here is a link to my wiki with notes from the training. http://christinelmac.wikispaces.com/ Dorothy Lo also took some excellent notes, which she posted on the adams14schools google docs.

What continues to blow my mind is the idea that students now in the digital age can do a multitude of things at the same time and also process them all. I am a one track kind of person, I can have many projects going at once but I can only really give my attention to one thing at a time. This revelation that students can divide their attention better than me is making me rethink how I know if a student is engaged.

On this same tangent, I remember a story from npr where a professor banned the use of laptops in his classroom http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/06/AR2007040601544.html
I remember when I first heard this I thought, "I can see where this guy is coming from," and now that I have this insight about today's students I feel sorry for him. He could have harnessed this power for good instead of just having them close their computers.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Will Richardson blog

Found Will Richardson's blog tonight (he's the author of the book we were given at training, just in case you forgot: Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for the Classroom). The link to it is here. His entry from a couple of days ago resonates with me a bit... he makes the point that education is fairly slow to respond to the changing technology, and I think that for the most part, that statement is true, and it's a real problem. Education should be on the forefront of these changes, not bringing up the rear and only because we are being dragged kicking and screaming into doing so. I can think of more than a few of my colleagues (and not just teachers within the district) who are downright Luddite when it comes to the most basic technology, even email. We are in a society where that is no longer acceptable. Ultimately, I feel that our job is to prepare young people for successful lives beyond high school, regardless of how that looks, and if we do not do so, then we are failing our students, their parents, and ourselves. The world of the 21st century is technology based and technology driven. If we don't embrace it, we are dooming our children to be left far, far behind.

(Cross posted to my "teacher blog.")

Google Calendar and Classroom2.0

So today I was playing around with google calendar. I set up two calendars, one for second graders to see and one for my stuff. I then embedded the second grade calendar into my website on adams14schools.org. The cool thing (which you might have already known) is that when I go into google calendar and add events for second grade, it updates on the website. There is also a feature when looking at the calendar from the website to 'add to my calendar' so if any of my parents (or your older students) have their own google calendars, then can add the events and information to their personal one. I'll include a link so you can see it, but I'm not sure if it will work because you have to be signed into adams14schools.org. kemp room 12 Otherwise, you'll have to search for it. (I don't have anything else on the website right now, but I hope to by the beginning of the year.)

Also, like Liz, I found another great website for and by teachers infusing technology. http://www.classroom20.com/ They have a lot a resources wiki, forums, blogs and more.

One last comment- I love RSS. Now that I know about several blogs and sites I want to keep up with, I don't have to constantly check them to see if anyone posted something new. I just have to subscribe and check one site-google reader.

Hope you are all enjoying your summer.

Friday, June 6, 2008

A day away... sort of

Okay, so the fact that I spent time today reading the Richardson book probably means that I didn't really spend time away from Global Learners, but I did spend a bit of time playing on my new unicycle (yes, I said "unicycle"... got it for $10... go craigslist!), so does that count as a break?

At any rate, I really think that the Global Learners training was some of the best I've received as a teacher... only my ropes course instructor training (several years back) and my IB trainings have come close. It's nice to honestly be able to say "YES! I can't wait to get back and start using this stuff!"

Thank you, everyone, for such an amazing three days. I still need the weekend to absorb and sort it all out, but now that I'm on broadband at home, I'm sure I'll be seeing many of you on Skype soon!

Awesome networking at ning.com

Hi all,

At the first day of GL training on Tuesday, you may recall Dave mentioning a social networking site called "ning." Well I checked out the site and have found a REALLY USEFUL network set up by teachers who are interested in using technology in the classroom. Their network is called Teacher 2.0 and you can find them at:


I highly recommend checking it out. You can even join the network, add them to your RSS feed, etc. I joined the network because I see it as something I will definitely use as I attempt to use all this information and technology we have received over the past few days.

Let me know what you think of it.

Thanks for the good times!

The global learning partnership and technology integration has been very interesting. The three days of instruction have been inspirational and extremely dynamic. I've thoroughly enjoyed being immersed in web 2.0 and the variety of digital applications. Considering the current methodology and impact of technology within society, continuous curriculum and lesson planning can be overwhelming and may take its toll, which is why I need a day or two for recovery. Thanks to all who helped and check out my blogg and site work in progress. -Max

Thursday, June 5, 2008

a reflection...

WOW! What an intensive yet entertaining workshop! These three days have helped set a new direction for my teaching. I want to thank all of you since I learned from each of you. Special thanks to Joe and Dave, as well as the veteran global learners. This has been one of the (if not THE) best educational opportunities that I have participated in my 16 years in SD14. Best of luck to all of you, see you this summer in cyberspace! Doug

Voki Question

I'm trying to create a powerpoint to show my students at the beginning of the year, and I'd like to embed a voki. Any ideas on the best way to do this? (Is it even possible?) Suggestions would be great. Thanks!!

And thanks for everyone's help these past 3 days... we rock!

I can't wait to get back to the classroom!

It's amazing to me how much information can be crammed into three days. The Global Learners training has been incredibly valuable. I just hope I can remember how to use everything once I get home (and get the technology in some cases.) My favorite part about today was learning all of the cool things our SmartBoards can do. I'm super psyched to get back in my classroom and use it with my students. Crazy, right? Wanting to get back into the classroom? I do, however, look forward to developing and becoming proficient in Wikis, blogs and SmartBoard tools this summer so I'm prepared for the new year.

Being a Global Learner is an amazing opportunity that I feel fortunate to be a part of. I predict my students will be more engaged and learn a lot more next year because of the technology training I've been receiving. I can't wait to get rid of my overhead (and "overhead hand" as I like to call it) and use my projector on a daily basis without having to check one out. Have a great rest of your summer everybody!


Well, I finally figured this out!
I am learning so much and can't wait to apply it in my classroom.
The Smart Board is one of my favorites.
Thanks everyone for all of your help.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Teacher Toolbox

My adviser in grad school used to constantly give us copies of activities to put in out "Teacher Toolbox". He described this as a treasure box (much like the ones I remember from the dentist and doctors offices) that would have lots of "goodies" in it to choose from. I still have my toolbox which now consumes 2 of my file cabinet drawers. Today, I feel like my "Teacher Toolbox" has now become a black hole because it seems as if my options are limitless!!!!

I thoroughly enjoyed the format for today's training. I thought it was fantastic that we got a "quick and dirty" of all of the things we can do with our new technology- and instead of half of us being intrigued and asking questions (and the other have probably still trying to save their Avitar characters). We were able to ask questions and familiarize ourselves with the technology most pertinent to us as individuals. I have never been to a more constructivist-based training and thoroughly look forward tomorrow's adventures!!

I agree, a good day

After today, I feel I have some resources and a few skills for using Web 2.0. Foreign terms and phrases are sounding familiar and I have seen and talked about lots of applications for my students and myself as a teacher. Still feeling a bit overwhelmed, but I kept hearing good advice: chose one thing and work on that. And even within that one application chose one focus to start with (like a reading group rather than the whole class day.) I feel that could be manageable and I'm glad we have the wiki/agenda to refer to when, down the road, I feel ready to add something else. I'm looking forward to tomorrow.

Good day

I think the hardest part for me today was staying focused. I'd learn about one thing, start figuring out if and how I could use it in my classroom and then I'd have to move on to something else! Good thing we had those sessions later in the day. :)

Oh... and my blog can be found here... it's only started discussing Global Learner related "stuff" (sorry for the technical term), but more will be added as things go, and I've been using it as my official "teacher blog" in general, giving my students from last year a bit of a glimpse into my summer, but also being open to discussions related to Global Learner, IB, and teaching in general.


Today's training was fantastic! At the time my mind was a tad over-loaded, but now that I am going back to check things out I am excited all over again.

Global Learners 2008 June training

Web 2.0 Tools in the Classroom

Web 2.0 Tools in Your Classroom

From: markwoolley, 1 year ago

A workshop presented at the Sandhurst Diocese Education Conference
This workshop will focus on the “New” read-write web and look at the many opportunities to use these web tools in your classroom.
The support bog can be found at http://sandhurst.edublogs.org

SlideShare Link

Global Learner Pictures